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Racing Vic Seeks "Control Of All State's Racing"
Racing Victoria “intends take total control of all racing in the state in a bold bid to emulate the authority of the AFL Commission” reported The Herald-Sun. In “what shapes as a major power play that has riled the country administration & clubs, RV has put the plan on its board agenda & hopes to streamline its administration at the next board meeting immediately after the Melbourne Cup carnival next month”. RV chief executive Rob Hines “confirmed the push to take total control” & commented: “The start of the new joint venture (with Tabcorp) gives us the opportunity to restructure RV's relationship with country & metropolitan clubs. That process has started.” The recommendation put to the RV board “is for all race clubs in the state to be under the banner of RV, which will look after prize-money, infrastructure, media rights & all matters Victorian racing”. One RV official said this was “the only opportunity in 25 years to provide RV with autonomy, along the lines of the AFL Commission. It couldn’t be done before in the 17 years of the previous TAB contract & it won’t be able to be done again during the next 12 years of the new TAB deal, unless it is put into place before the new TAB deal is in stone. RV came into being to look after all racing in Victoria, just as the AFL Commission came in to look after all the dealings of the clubs on a local & state and (for them) the nation. RV has finally gained control of the purse strings at the end of the last TAB contract & it is only appropriate that it also looks after everything - programming, marketing, media rights, the lot.” However Country Racing Victoria's chief executive Scott Wildman said RV's plan to alter its rules & responsibilities has left clubs “not happy at all”. He noted: “There are 68 country clubs (professional & picnic) and the concern is that they will not be fairly heard against the 3 metropolitan clubs. We will meet next week to formulate a response to RV. If this is not responsibly sorted out, this will become a major issue.”